RENTON — The good news for the Seahawks on the receiver injury front Friday?
DK Metcalf was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New York Giants after being a limited participant in practice and doing more than coach Pete Carroll had thought he might with the star receiver nursing a knee injury suffered last Sunday against the Chargers.
“He ran around today and did some stuff and looked pretty good,’’ Carroll said. “Kind of just based on the initial reaction to what happened and all that we wouldn’t have thought that possible. But he was out there doing some stuff. So it was a good, positive step today.’’
The bad news on the Seahawks receiver injury front?
Tyler Lockett, who appeared on the way to full health earlier in the week, was also listed as questionable for the game and a limited participant in practice after coming down with a new oblique injury, which the team officially listed as ribs on the injury report.
“He feels a little bit of an oblique thing, kind of something going on that he felt yesterday (Thursday) for the first time,’’ Carroll said after Friday’s practice.
So will either, both or neither play Sunday? Carroll played it as vague as possible. When asked if they are game-day decisions, Carroll said “yeah I would think so. … If I could ask somebody I would. I can’t, I don’t have anybody to ask, so we just have to wait.”
The prospect of the Seahawks being without their two best receivers — or at the least, neither being 100% — is obviously less than ideal going into a game against a 6-1 Giants team that is maybe the surprise of the NFL.
But that also might mean Seattle will simply lean more on its running attack, which has averaged 169.6 yards the past five weeks and now goes against a Giants team allowing 144.4 rushing yards per game, 28th in the NFL.
Lockett played his lowest percentage of snaps of the season — 65 — in Sunday’s 37-23 win over the Chargers after sitting out all week in practice due to a hamstring injury.
But he appeared on his way past that when he was listed as a full participant in practice on Thursday and having met the media beforehand to say his hamstring felt “all right.’’
Metcalf suffered what Carroll described as a patellar tendon injury late in the first quarter of Sunday’s game and was carted off the field.
Metcalf did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but was on the field Friday doing warmups during the early part of practice open to the media. Lockett was not visible during that portion of practice.
Seattle has four other receivers on its 53-man roster in Dee Eskridge, Marquise Goodwin, rookie Dareke Young and Penny Hart. Carroll earlier in the week said Hart would not play as he battles a hamstring injury. But he was listed as doubtful Friday, indicating at least a slight shot of playing, though he did not practice.
Seattle also has five receivers on its practice squad — J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, Cade Johnson, Kevin Kassis, Bo Melton and Easop Winston — and could elevate one of them for depth if needed.
Bellore out, Homer likely to step in on special teams
The Seahawks ruled out only one player for the game — linebacker/fullback Nick Bellore, with a concussion suffered against the Chargers.
Bellore’s primary role is on special teams — he is the special-teams captain and has played 144 special-teams snaps this year, according to Pro Football Reference, 25 more than anyone else on the team.
But Carroll said some of Bellore’s special-teams snaps could be taken by running back Travis Homer. Homer has missed the last four games with a rib injury but returned to practice this week. Homer would have to be promoted to the 53-man roster to be eligible to play Sunday and Carroll indicated that will happen. Seattle has one opening on its roster so it would not have to make a corresponding move to add Homer.
“Fortunately T-Homer is coming back and he has been just a centerpiece of our special teams for a long time and it’s a big boost to get him back,’’ Carroll said. “Little bit different roles but we have been able to move some stuff around so that we can get those guys to play and fortunately not just have a big spot there that we can’t fill, so getting Homer back helps a bunch.’’
Five others listed as limited, including Taylor, Ford
Along with Metcalf and Lockett, the Seahawks listed five other players as questionable — linebacker Darrell Taylor (groin), cornerback Sidney Jones IV (groin), defensive end Poona Ford (ankle), guard Phil Haynes (concussion) and guard Gabe Jackson (hip/knee).
Haynes and Jones were each listed as full participants in practice, indicating they’ll be able to play. Taylor, Ford and Jackson were each listed as limited, indicating they may also be trending toward being able to play (Ford and Taylor did not practice on Wednesday and Thursday).
Carroll characterized all five as game-time decisions.
“All of those guys that you are asking about are kind of in the same vein in that we have to wait and see how they do and how they respond to the work today and all of that,’’ he said. “We really won’t know until Sunday. We don’t need to know until Sunday.”
— Cornerback Tre Brown returned to practice this week for the first time since suffering a knee injury last Nov. 21 and Carroll said he made a lot of progress. “He was out there getting regular reps, so he’s had a good week of work,’’ Carroll said. “He’ll just start making his bid for competing to get some playing time which just makes us better. I’m really happy for him. It’s been a really long haul for him.”
— A win Sunday would tie Carroll for 18th in NFL history for combined coaching wins at 168 with longtime Vikings coach Bud Grant. Carroll considers Grant one of his mentors, having coached defensive backs with the Vikings in 1985, Grant’s final year as head coach (Carroll then stayed on at Minnesota until 1989). “That can’t be right, that doesn’t seem right,’’ Carroll said this week. “How can that possibly be right? It doesn’t seem right, he’s way out there to me and always will be. I’ll let you know (how it feels if it happened). I don’t even have a statement to make about that.”